Engage don’t dictate, we can barely blink, at the moment, without reading about the latest round of the war in words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, two would-be leaders who believe that just by bullying and dictating, they can control their countries and influence the international community.
There is a lesson in these actions for all leaders, be they heads of business, head teachers of schools, or team captains, dictating will not generate a strong team and will not engage people to the cause.
It is human nature that we all like to be involved in a process at some level and if we are, we will invariably be more engaged and productive. In those organisations where staff are told what to do, they are likely to have little ownership and passion about their work. If they are involved in the different aspects of the organisation they will want to be a part of it.
Many organisations spend a considerable amount of time and money establishing staff incentives and good working environments, only to miss the chance to really excel by failing to engage their staff in all parts of the business.
Good communications and praise don’t cost anything but can deliver great productivity. The power of two words cannot be underestimated, “Thank you”, “Well done”.
Imagine if Donald Trump started to engage the international community in the drive to a peaceful solution, imagine if he offered to sit down and talk to Kim Jong-un. If he did that I think my estimation of him would go up, and that would take an awful lot to achieve. It takes a strong international leader to reach out rather than hide behind his military just like it takes a strong business leader to be open and talk to his team rather than hid behind a board.
What type of leader do you think will win in the long run?